ECO - Contest Time!!

Who doesn't love a good, clean, fun ol' contest!!?
I am working hard on making a lot more cloths, like the ones featured in my Benchmark Giveaway, for my shop right now. They are best sellers both on and off Etsy. I am also currently designing new cloths that can be used as dryer sheets, no more nasty chemicals!! So stay tuned for these and more exciting items to come to my shop shelves soon!
So about the contest. In an effort to increase awareness and usage of green, earth friendly products, I'd like to add more of these reusable items to my shop. I'd like you, my loyal followers, fans and friends, to leave me a comment below letting me know WHAT item(s) you would like to see in my shop. Please leave suggestions for items that can be handmade/crocheted using cotton, yarn, fabric etc.
I will choose one item to "feature" in my shop and also to feature on my blog. The person who submits the winning suggestion will win THAT item (after I design and create it of course!) and this fridge magnet.

So put on your thinking caps, folks!! And leave me your best suggestions in the comment area below!! Contest closes Friday July 9th at midnight EST. Good Luck everyone and I am really looking forward to your suggestions!!

Benchmark Giveaway {Winner}

Winner Announcement for the doe Studio Facebook Fan Benchmark Giveaway.

Well, that was fun!! I love doing giveaways!!
This was my first blog hosted giveaway, and while the traffic and entries to this contest were still a little underwhelming, it was fun nonetheless! I will definitely use my blog as a platform for future events like this one!
So...on to the announcement you've been waiting for!! The winner of the three hand crocheted, white acrylic SUPER eco-cloths is.....

Paula of Designer and Tomboy, Paula!!

Paula will receive these special handmade cloths along with a bonus coupon for 10% off her next purchase in my shop! Congratulations, Paula!! I hope you enjoy these work-horse cloths!!

I made a Light can you!

I prefer to photograph in natural light, but on days like today when it is SO gloomy outside I just can't wait for the sun. I am often impatient and my need for immediate satisfaction means I am itching to get some photos taken - NOW!!! Well, with after reading up on it from a number of sources, I decided to try one on my own. Why not, right?

Here's a short list of materials required for this project:
  • Cardboard box: the size you require will be dictated by the items you are photographing. Mine is approx 14" x 12" x 12".
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Paper table cloth or tissue paper
  • Bristol board
  • Packing or Duct tape
  • Thin plastic table cloth (optional)
  • Light source
Step by Step Instructions on how to make your very own CUSTOM light box:

Step One:
Prep your work area, have all of your tools handy. This step will save you time and a whole lot of aggravation!

Step Two:
Remove the top and bottom flap, leaving the two sides intact for light control purposes. Remove the side and top panels carefully, leaving a 1.5" edge all the way around. Be careful!! I scored the cardboard using a straight edge, making it easier to slice through with my utility knife. I have removed the bottom entirely. This way, I can use it over objects such as outdoor plants, etc. Remember to recycle everything you aren't going to be using!

Step Three:
Cut your paper table cloth (or tissue paper) to size. Tape carefully to each of the three open sides. I used a paper table cloth from the dollar store because it's a little more durable than tissue, and still a good transparency. In my house, I'd be afraid that the tissue paper would get torn too easily! As a bonus, you can cut the table cloth in one piece to wrap around all three sides.

Step Four:
This is the tricky part. I covered the inside of the box with a very thin white plastic tablecloth (again from the dollar store). I was finding that it was still a little dark with so much cardboard showing. Carefully trim and either tape or glue onto the inside, making sure to cover your corners. Ed. Note: I wonder if spray painting the inside of the box white first before step 3 would work. If anyone tries this tip, please leave a comment to let us know how it worked out!

Step Five:
Cut strips of Bristol board to fit into your light box. You want it long enough to go up the top on the inside and curve down onto your flat surface. Use as many different colors as you want for this and feel free to change it often!

Step Five: Set up your light source. Here's the great thing about this project. You control the light; the source, how much, how little, positioning - everything!! I picked up a cheap little florescent light fixture and it will be good for now. I have been having to adjust my white balance on the camera, so I would definitely suggest using an incandescent source. As you can see from my samples below, I am still working in the white balance to get a consistent subject color!
Here is the same hat shot with 3 different backgrounds.

Four different backgrounds used to shoot this glass tile pendant.

If I can do it, so can you!!! Honest. From start to finish, this DIY project took me just over an hour. Some of which was spent taking these photos for samples. I'm happy I invested this short amount of time. Now I don't have to wait for the sun, I can take my photos whenever the mood strikes me! The irony of this post is, the sun IS NOW SHINING!
Good luck to all of you! Happy Photo Shooting!!

Eye Candy

Monday's are crazy here. My son wants me to play, the house is a mess from the weekend and backyard deck renovations are in full swing. On top of my daily responsibilities, I am one of those "creative" type. A little scatter-brained at times, I always seem to have a project or 6 on the go at any given moment!! There are a lot of things begging for my attention and sometimes I lose track of what I am supposed to be doing. As I write this, I am in the middle of eating breakfast, cleaning my sons room and finishing a love knot scarf. Can't I just do ONE thing at a time????! Sometimes I am all over the place (physically AND mentally) and I need to tell myself to walk away, breathe and re-focus! Ahhhh, there we go! Re-FOCUS!!! It helps...for the most part! So on this crazy Monday, I'll keep my post short and sweet!! And give you a little something to gaze upon and you re-focus!
Happy Monday!!
P.S. While you are here, enter my giveaway!! Click HERE to enter! Good Luck to all of you!

doe Studio Benchmark Giveaway!

{Giveaway Time}
I have promised my fans a giveaway once I reached 600 Facebook Fans!! Mission accomplished!
One lucky winner.....

3 beautiful Multi-purpose, eco-friendly cloths

These workhorse cloths can do just about anything. Use these to: mop up spills, wipe dirty faces, clean counters, exfoliate and cleanse, do dishes, the list goes on.
Made from durable acrylic yarn in snow white.
Care instructions will be included, because hey, you have to look after them if you want them to look after you!!

How to Enter:

Visit doeStudio and tell me your favorite item in my shop. Please leave your comments here on my blog. (You must complete this entry before completing any of the bonus entries).

Bonus Entries:

Leave a separate comment when you complete the following bonus entries!
  • Follow me on Twitter and Tweet: Win a set of eco-friendly cloths from doe Studio (You may enter daily, just leave a comment with each Tweet’s link)
  • Follow doeStudio on Facebook
  • Blog about this giveaway (Please leave a link to your post)

Please leave a comment about each entry, include a valid email address so I can get in touch with you if you are selected as the winner!

This giveaway will end at midnight EST on June 23, 2010.

Winner will be picked from 
Good Luck.

I {RAN} a Half Marathon

Well, I did it folks!! It's done. Check one off the Bucket List!! Half Marathon....check!
We made a weekend of it, the family and I. We drove to Ottawa on the Friday night (about a 4 1/2 hour drive from where we live). We stayed with our family friends and had a great time. Saturday, we drove into the city and picked up our race kits at the Expo. It was PACKED!! After we picked up our kits, we went to the ByWard Market. Lots of fun browsing around, eating lunch and being entertained by two very athletic buskers!!
My amazing husband, Greg, and my equally amazing little boy Ethan, presented me with a necklace (that I am wearing in all the photos) of a runner with 21K on it! Ethan handed it to me and said "I'm so proud of you Mommy". I said thank you so much, to which he replied "It was all Daddy's idea". So honest and adorable when they are 4!! Fast Forward to RACE DAY!
Heather (my awesome sister and fellow runner) managed to find our place amongst over 10,000 runners (although I have also heard there were close to 30,000 participants but I can't confirm #'s!).
The race begins. We were in the 2nd of two wave starts. We had LOTS of room and never felt crowed out or run over. The sheer energy of the group of runners, the crowd, and the city was incredible!! I want to add here that during my training, the furthest I ran was 16K, in about 2 hours. Thankfully, they had water and gel stations as all races do, as well as the BEST idea ever, a sponge station! We also kept ourselves fueled with a natural energy drink, maple syrup water! Yummy! My personal favorite race day fuel was the HIGH FIVE (see above photo for reference)!!! Honestly, if I were feeling tired, I just ran over and got some high five fuel! The crowd was amazing and kept us pumped and reminded us constantly to remember all of the training we had been through. We were lucky enough to see our families about 10K into the run, the photo above was taken about 20 feet from where we saw them!
I really began to get tired about the 18K mark but pressed on. I was determined NOT to walk if at all possible. As we got closer and closer to the finish line, the crowd grew thicker and the cheers grew louder. "Dig Deep" "Looking Great you guys" "Not far to go!" "Keep it up Ladies"
We crossed the finish line, holding hands (we do that a lot!) at 2hours 28minutes and 09seconds!! It was overwhelming!! It was indescribable! It was the best feeling in the world!
As soon as we crossed the finish line we heard a familiar voice calling us. It was our MOM!! The best surprise EVER! She had driven almost 5 hours to surprise us at the finish line!! Such an incredible woman!
Finishing was euphoric! I have never been over come with so much emotion over RUNNING! Wow. We made our way to the Recovery Area where we stretched, ate oranges and yogurt and drank MORE water! I remember hugging Heather, and crying. Honest to goodness tears of joy!
Would I do it again? If you had've asked me 2 weeks before my run, I would have told you, "No this will be the one and only". But since you are asking me now, "Hell, yeah! Sign me up for next years Half!!" So in closing, I will say this. If you are thinking of taking up running or signing up for a Half Marathon, do your self a favor. DO IT!

Heather and I minutes after finishing!

Me, my Hubby, Greg and our Son Ethan

Celebrating with a glass of Champagne!